*Note that the Chinese Magnetic Poetry for Kids uses simplified characters. If you are teaching your child traditional characters, you can still use this set. Just let your kids know in simple terms that this set uses a different "font." Just like English uses uppercase ABC's and lowercase abc's, Chinese has two "fonts" also. And just like the uppercase and the lowercase letters in English often look alike, they may notice that the two Chinese "fonts" look a lot alike most of the time too. Here is an example of how similar the simplified and traditional forms can be: 妈 --> 媽
Finding a set of magnetic Chinese characters is not difficult; however, if you are looking for a set that has the 注音符號, you may be disappointed. Although, there is at least one popular set (mentioned above) that includes the mainland China's 漢語拼音 (Hànyǔ Pīnyīn), I have not been able to find a set that uses 注音符號. However, don't let that stop you from using the strategy discussed above. You have choices!
- The least time consuming choice is to purchase the set and then write the 注音符號 on the magnet with a permanent marker.
- The cheapest initial cost is to print out the characters on paper and cut them out. If you choose this, I recommend printing on card stock so the pieces are more durable. However, inevitably some of the pieces will get ripped, lost, etc.
- The third choice is to make your own magnetic Chinese characters. Using Microsoft Word, create a table with cells that are 1.0 inches high and about 0.8 inches wide. Each cell fits one character. Fill in the table with characters your child is familiar with (see this post to learn how to type in Chinese) and include the 注音符號. Print on card stock and glue onto magnets. I used old magnets that arrive at my house for advertizing purposes, but you can also purchase magnetic strips at any arts and craft supply store. The advantage of the magnetic strips is that they come already with a stick side. Also, if you buy magnetic strips that are about 1.0 inch high, then you reduce the amount of cutting you have to do.